Lo, I am with you always
A testimony of God's faithfulness by an 86-year-old missionary
“Who is like unto You, O Lord among the gods? . . . Glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” (Exodus 15:11 NKJV).
God got our family out of “paradise” (New Zealand) miraculously, without passports! Japan delayed our visas, but Satan failed to stop 59 years of Japan’s evangelisation by eight Goodalls.
God gave me a good wife, Connie. Wherever we planted a new church she allowed her home to be used as the church, vital for seekers and saved. Connie braved barbarous bathhouses. Once the owner came in to open a tap and slipped, so he grabbed the nearest thing which was Connie’s bare shoulder! She survived, barely!
Presently a NZ group lets us send 60-word prayer and praise items every three weeks to over 500 email intercessors including whole churches. Praying partners are our secret key to thriving.
God set the NZ/Yen exchange rate so that at age 29 I was able to buy a home in Hakodate for 430,000 yen! (US$1200). The NZ dollar is now 69 yen, fallen from 504!
I enjoy unpolished rice and wholemeal bread. Our children went happily to Japanese schools, saving us a mint of money, and the children can interpret for missionaries and minister themselves in Japanese. Russell, our son, appears on Nep League, the Japan-wide TV quiz program.
I never got to Bible School, but Dad’s rigor and Mother’s Bible teaching made missionary trials and tests tolerable. Imagine ferocious bulls, a mad cow gone dangerous, and on my 16th birthday, sobbing, unable to plough with a horse. Still 16, I bought a very tall draft-horse at an auction and led it home 16 miles on Highway One. Dad called us every day either side of 4 a.m.. Later too, in Japan, Sister Tanaka had me up early, tracting Tokyo schools. This taught me to tract widely. Films made giving out invitations easier. “Come and see a film.”
My senior missionary Stuart Caldwell (later with the help of Marion, his wife) has almost completed 70 years of loving labour! Stuart taught me to find spare land, find its owner, rent it, pitch a tent, get temporary electricity, and later, giving the owner some money.
Hokkaido’s six-month cold (minus 41˚C) is daunting but relieved inside by heaters. Our summers are pleasant, like New Zealand’s!
God disallowed David from building the temple but commended him. Aim for where the need is great, and whether He lets you go or not, hear God’s voice, like David: “You did well that it was in your heart” (2 Chron. 6:8 NASB). However, David contributed for the temple more than the fortunes of Ford, Rockefeller, and Edison! God might let you support His work financially. Study Isaiah 54 and Revelation 7 verse 9. Our future with God and countless other fellow-saints is brilliant!